Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Resolutions & Commitments

I have no idea what 2013 holds. I have no idea where this roller coaster called life is going to take us. I know a few things for certain:

  1. I'm making health a priority in our home. I've shed 75lbs so far... and I'm committed to continuing to develop and exercise healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices. We have been eating a lot of fresh, whole foods... and really eliminated most of the overly processed junk food we used to buy. Not only do we look better, but we FEEL better every day.
  2. I'm doing my part to support my community. This means going out of my way to BUY LOCAL, and support small business. Tying into our being healthy goals, we've started looking for healthier food options and have really enjoyed buying LOCAL pastured eggs, raw milk, organic grass fed beef, and pasture raised chicken... all from small, independent  local grocers and avoiding big chains. We also buy many of our necessities from work at home moms who make home made products, or resell quality natural products. It helps those who need it, I'm getting superior/healthier products, and it's really the only way to boost the economy.  It makes my heart happy. <3
  3. I'm making an effort to spend more time with those who matter. I'm done wasting away time arguing with "dog people" on the internet... and making more time to spend with family and good friends. This means taking the time to go to Idaho and Vegas more. This means spending less time at a computer, and more time visiting grandparents. This means spending less time worrying about the rat race, and more time with siblings, nieces, and nephews. I wish we could convince Jon's family to make the move up here as well. Maybe someday....
I'm hoping for a few things to happen this year. Namely: sell this house, buy one we LOVE that we can see ourselves raising a family in, start said family, and improve our business. 


It's 2013.
I was born in 1989, that was 24 years ago.
I was baptized in 1997, that was 16 years ago.
I started high school in 2003, that was 10 years ago.
I graduated high school in 2007, that was 6 years ago.
I moved to Utah and got married in 2009, that was 4 years ago.
We bought our business in 2010, that was 3 years ago.
We ought our first house in 2011, that was 2 years ago.
I had back surgery in 2012, that was 1 year ago.

It really puts certain things into perspective when it's laid out like that. I mean, the amount of time that seems to go by without even noticing... it's crazy. All of these milestones seem to come and go and it's not until you take time to sit and reflect on them that we realize just how much has been going on. But that's not the point. The point is moving forward... to the future.

I did a lot of soul searching this year, particularly towards the end of the year. I mean, really deeply searching for exactly what it is I want out of life, and not what everyone else wants for me. I'm a people pleaser, and I have this awful habit of doing things to make OTHER people happy, even when it makes me miserable. It took leaving Utah behind for a month to realize the things that are important and what kind of life I want. I've come to three conclusions:

  1. I love Jon. (well... maybe that's obvious) I mean, we drive each other crazy sometimes, and we've only been married for three years and STILL have a lot of learning and growing to do.. but I want o do it together. He's accepted me for me, despite my five billion mistakes and flaws, and that's pretty.... special. 
  2. I love Danes. (OK... perhaps another obvious.) They'll be a part of me and my life forever. But, I do *NOT* love the "dog community" and I do not love the judgement that comes along with having a breeding program. I'm not going to give it up, but... I'm not so sure that moving forward I'm going to involve myself in this community so much. I think one litter per year and focusing more on my life outside of the dogs, and less on networking and discussing with other "dog people" is a healthier choice. Don't get me wrong, I love love love our puppy buyers... but the ignorance, greed, judgement, and hate that resides in all the die-hard dog folks online... well, I'm over it. 
  3. I love family. Family means so much to me, and no matter hoe many times I decide to move away, I feel like I always ache to come back. I do NOT love Utah. I really don't love Orem... but I hate being away from family. There are a few technically non-related people I include when I say the word family... Becki, Natalie, Jon.... friends like that are rare. They're family that CHOOSE to be family. That's special. 
There are so many things taken completely for granted, so many details overlooked. SO often we don't realize what's important until it's too late. I'm glad I took some time to soul search this year, and put everything back into perspective. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tiny T

Life is crazy.
We welcomed both litters of puppies on December 26, 2012. Whelping went well, and for the most part, the mamas just did their thing as I sat back and made sure all was well. Of course it was.
Timber had 11 strong, beautiful, healthy puppies.
Zailey had 10 little spotty puppies, one being a little runt, reminding me so much of little Anna in her previous litter. I spent the following week feeding little Taylor every hour, only getting broken fragments of sleep and seeing that she is OK. She grew stronger, healthier, and was thriving. Jon and I had gotten quite attached to her by this point and were having difficulty with the idea of selling her. How can you just sell a baby you raised by hand? Unfortunately last night, Taylor nosedived. My vet thinks that she got kicked or stepped on in her whelping box enough to put her body in shock, and my supplementing her just wasn't enough because she was so small.  I stayed up, all through the night, feeding her every half hour, getting sugar in her, keeping her warm. She passed away early this afternoon. Loss is a part of breeding. Puppies will occasionally die, it's part of nature and the logical part of my mind knows and accepts that.
The not-so-logical and perhaps too-emotional side of my mind.... well, that side is having a hard time today. I held her moments after she was born. I spent several sleepless nights with her, bonding, and loving her. I carefully placed a hot pink ribbon around her neck, named her Taylor, and watched her become stronger. I weighed her every night, and celebrated her wonderful gains. And then.... I held her weak body in my hands once again. I talked to her. I apologized to her. I fed her. I stimulated her. She passed away once and I was able o give her CPR and revive her. At the point I accepted she wasn't going to make it, I tucked her in my shirt, against my chest, and loved her til her last breath.
I know she's "just a puppy who I only had for 12 days" but these puppies... they're my life right now. They're what I DO. They're my passion. In MY world, it's the saddest of tragedies. I don't remember the last time I felt so empty, or cried so hard.
It made me question everything. Did I make a mistake? Could I have done something better? Could I have prevented it? Am I even cut out for this harsh world of dog breeding?!
I know there's a lesson in everything, and that everything happens for a reason. Today, I am too sad to figure all that out. I just believe this world wasn't worthy of just a perfect little soul. Run free, sweet Taylor. Run free.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Commercial Diet Products Suck

Wow. A new year. This is the time that everyone swears they are totally going to go to the gym 5 days a week, lose 50lbs by Summertime, and are so totally going to get healthy.
It's also the time of year that commercial weight loss products sell like... a crapload of product. And I DON'T GET IT!
Now, I'm not going to sit here and claim to be the healthiest person in the whole wide world, and what I'm about to say has nothing to do with weight, and everything to do with health. I swear if people would spend HALF the time and money on real food, as they do the next miracle weight loss shake, meal, pill, etc.... we'd be a healthier nation.
Nutrition is the cornerstone to health. You literally ARE what you eat. Our food impacts every system in our bodies. It effects fertility, it effects our moods, our minds, our emotions, our skin, or digestion... everything. Food IS medicine.
Do you read what's in your food? Do you know what the ingredients mean? DO you know how heavily processed food impacts your health? Do you know what is in that "miracle shake" you're drinking? Don't just blindly buy into cleaver marketing, READ the label. Can you pronounce all the ingredients? If not, DON'T EAT IT! 
We've moved towards a real food diet, and honestly, Jon and I have never felt better than when we do eating fresh, real foods. Going out occasionally is OK, treats occasionally are OK... but veggies, fruit, and fresh, lean protein... that's seriously easy peasy and delicious. AND free of chemicals, preservatives, dyes, pesticides, and hormone-altering injections.
So, in 2013, on your "I'm totally going to get super healthy" mission, drop the pre packaged meals, powders, and potions. Forget the miracle drinks and powders. Go buy organic grass fed beef, delicious produce, pasture-raised dairy.... and get healthy!